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Joining the Hernia Club
Old 06-13-2007, 02:26 PM   #1
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Joining the Hernia Club

Well, looks like I've got an inguinal hernia. Thought for a while that I'd just developed really big groin muscles from all the crunches I've been doing, but after some more research, and finding that I could pop it back in, I'm pretty sure it's a hernia.

So I broke my rule about not calling the doctor unless I was in actual pain, and I have an appointment next week.

Think I can go about my normal activities until then (surfing, chopping wood)?

I'm sure the issue of waiting and watching vs. surgery will come up, so I'd be happy to get your opinions. I have a three week SoCal surfing safari planned in August, and I don't want to mess that up.

Is the surgery done laparoscopically these days?

Surgery cost? I have a BCBS HSA with a $3500 deductible, so I'm guessing that will be my cost.
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:34 PM   #2
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Congratulations, Al.

Nowadays, usually outpatient, only mild to moderate discomfort easily controlled, quick recovery (as in walking out of the operating room). It can be done laparascopically or via a small incision. They often use a strong mesh device to make the repair strong.

If it were me I'd just take care of it promptly and get on with your travel plans. No viagra for at least a week .
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:46 PM   #3
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That's good news, thanks. Nice to have you around Rich.
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:56 PM   #4
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Shouldn't you turn your head and cough or something...
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:29 PM   #5
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Now, make a 3 inch incision....
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:44 PM   #6
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Congratulations, Al.

Nowadays, usually outpatient, only mild to moderate discomfort easily controlled, quick recovery (as in walking out of the operating room). It can be done laparascopically or via a small incision. They often use a strong mesh device to make the repair strong.

If it were me I'd just take care of it promptly and get on with your travel plans. No viagra for at least a week .

Rich tell the truth.

Yes you are done as an outpatient, BUT the first 48 hours is no picnic!!

Yes Al get it done ASAP, it only gets worse, watching and waiting only makes the hernia bigger. I would back off the wood cutting until you have it repaired.

I believe if you get it done by July early in the month you should be able to surf by mid august. I was running 16 days after the operation small incision, mesh patch. Just take your pain meds that first night, your boyz will need a rest!!

6 years ago mine was 4800, which included the hospital OR, the anesthesiologist, the surgeon,etc.
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:52 PM   #7
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Just had surgery 2 weeks ago. The first 48 hours was a picnic because I had an NQ painkiller pump right into the region, so I could not feel a thing there. Now when the pump ran out, it was no picnic!

My surgeon had lots of training on the laproscopy method, but did not like that method and recommended and performed the tension-free mesh inserted in an incision. You can get the details from your surgeon.

I still have some pain in the region, but I think that will go away in a couple more weeks. I went bike riding today, but will not go back to basketball for another month. I have met many guys who have had the surgery when they saw me walking slow. Everyone had said: "Take it easier than you think you need to." So I am having my wife mow the yard.

For me the cost was $20 co-pay plus $5 for the vicodin.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:46 PM   #8
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I've had two fixed, one on each side about 10 years apart. First one had a big scar, second one used the small incision. No big deal really, just hurt like heck for a week or so when I coughed or laughed so I couldn't watch any funny movies. Both healed well so today I can't even feel the scars but the mesh they put in shows up when they do some cat scans.

I was told mine was elective in the sense that I could wait several months, which I did, until I found some slack time. Just don't wait forever, they don't get any better and they can give you some real problems if they get big.\

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:55 PM   #9
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Al:

Just had one fixed in March. Day surgery, however, I do have a nice five inch "knife mark". The hospital bill was $7k (with BCBS insurance): Dr has yet to bill. Recovery (back to work) took me 3 weeks mainly due to issues of wearing clothes around the waist. Surgery was to be 70 minutes but turned into 2 hours. Pain was low, Dr gave me some very interesting chemicals. Did ride the mower during recovery week two which Dr later said was a no-no . Now, I gardening, mow, etc as I want. That darn mesh does feel funny though at times...

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Old 06-13-2007, 09:32 PM   #10
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Everyone had said: "Take it easier than you think you need to." So I am having my wife mow the yard.
Wow .. .some guys will do anything to get outta work
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:15 PM   #11
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A couple years ago I had mine done after being aware of my non-painful hernia for a few years. I decided to time my hernia surgery in conjunction with some downtime at work between transferring positions (old position was no longer needed, so I had very little knowledge transfer).

Doctor said both laparascopic and open were options, but due to my particular situation he recommended open.

I did walk out of there, but not without a boatload of drugs. The next few days I stayed in bed almost exclusively. After about 2 weeks I was able to have sex again (not just with myself), and after a couple of months I felt close to 100%.

If I were in your shoes, I would probably schedule it after your trip unless it's causing you mental anguish/worry or physical pain. With it already being mid-June, you probably won't get in until July and that means that by August you'll probably still have some soreness with certain positions/motions (and how do you know those motions won't be the ones involved with surfing?).

Occasionally I still get an ache in the winter... I think it might be like people who have broken bones and it aches when the rain comes. I also had mesh.

Be sure you understand potential complications and ask how your doctor helps prevent some of them. In my case, there was some nerve issues that went on for a few months before fully subsiding... but when those nerve pains came up, they really hurt! Not everybody gets that though, and most complications do go away... except for the 5" cut in my groin area but it doesn't matter since I don't go naked much anyway.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:03 PM   #12
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I used to work for a company that designs and manufactures laparoscopic instruments so we heard a lot about laparoscopic hernia surgery. When I left a couple years ago, I think I remember the conversion to laparascopic hernia was waning a bit (and maybe even reversing) because the repairs made during open surgery were "better" due to the improved access the surgeon had during open surgery. Don't know what the latest trend is.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Well, looks like I've got an inguinal hernia. Thought for a while that I'd just developed really big groin muscles from all the crunches I've been doing, but after some more research, and finding that I could pop it back in, I'm pretty sure it's a hernia.
Al, was there a specific "Ouch!" cause or do these things spontaneously pop up, so to speak?
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:56 PM   #14
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With it already being mid-June, you probably won't get in until July ....
Or you might be able to schedule surgery the next day as in my case. My surgeon's staff was pretty efficient at getting the OK from my insurer, getting blood work done, renting an operating room, etc.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:37 AM   #15
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Thanks for the info and experiences, guys!

Quote:
Al, was there a specific "Ouch!" cause...
No, not at all. I'm thinking now that I've had it for months or longer. I did some very heavy lifting of pine tree rounds last winter and the winter before, but never felt and pops or pains, other than muscle aches.

Quote:
I would probably schedule it after your trip unless it's causing you mental anguish/worry or physical pain.
Doesn't hurt but it's true that knowing that some relatively important parts of your body are not where they're supposed to be isn't fun, and I want it fixed soon. But I'll talk that over with the doctor.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:49 AM   #16
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Doesn't hurt but it's true that knowing that some relatively important parts of your body are not where they're supposed to be isn't fun
That's exactly why I went in. It just took me a few years to get to that point.

What finally did it for me was knowing my new job would have a lot of travel, and I didn't want to be in a foreign country on an emergency hernia surgery... I wanted it on my terms.

But most inguinal hernias, if not causing pain, can go for months/years before being corrected.

All I know is that in your shoes I would weigh the difference between being 100% for your trip vs. the mental concern (and any physical discomforts/odd sensations it may be causing).

Most hernias have *some* complications... most of those resolve quickly. Discuss in detail the complication risks with your doctor and then do research on your own as well to see if those complications are something you're ok with having on your trip, should they become reality.

Some are trivial, like one testicle may ride a little higher than the other one. Others like nerve issues are notably less fun.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:29 AM   #17
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Rich (in particular), DH has had an umbilical hernia basically forever. He's fairly overweight, but I think he has had it since childhood. It 'presents' as a little bit puffy "outie" belly button. No doctor he's seen has ever commented on it, so he assumes there is no danger or point in having an operation. What's the poop (so to speak) in yr. opinion?

Al, best wishes for a speedy recovery!!
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:09 PM   #18
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Rich (in particular), DH has had an umbilical hernia basically forever. He's fairly overweight, but I think he has had it since childhood. It 'presents' as a little bit puffy "outie" belly button. No doctor he's seen has ever commented on it, so he assumes there is no danger or point in having an operation. What's the poop (so to speak) in yr. opinion?
Can't speak directly to your DH's outie, but if I had an umbilical hernia that wasn't causing me trouble, I'd let it follow me to my grave. Of course you'd need to be sure that's what it was (there are other things that can seem the same), report any changes etc.

Did Adam have a belly button?
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:35 PM   #19
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Thanks, Rich..! We won't do anything unless he sees/feels changes.

Since man was made in God's image.. where did God get his/her belly button?
{Church Lady voice} "Could it be.. Satan..?"

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth...eve-uffizi.jpg

or was man created that way?
http://www.christusrex.org/www1/sistine/4d-Adam.jpg
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:38 PM   #20
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Al,

I had double hernia surgery last year. I had it done on Friday afternoon on an out patient basis and was back at work (a desk job) on Monday morning. It takes a few days to get the soreness out. I haven't had a problem since.

I took pain pills the first night after the surgery and then just an occasional advil. Get er done, you will heal up quickly. It will slow you down for a while.
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